On 14 December 2016, the Prime Minister and Minister of State, Xavier Bettel, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, announced the setting-up of a “Joint Innovation Centre” in Luxembourg by Vodafone and Technoport. Based in Luxembourg, the future Innovation Centre will host technology businesses, which will benefit from the infrastructures and the different services offered. In addition, the companies concerned will have preferential access to the network of the Vodafone Group, which will help them to develop on an international scale.
Set up in the form of a partnership, the Innovation Centre will be owned on a 50/50 basis by Vodafone and by Technoport S.A. It will be capable of accommodating nearly 100 people. Under the management of a dedicated team, it will become operational during the course of 2017.
Trengthening the national ecosystem
At the signing of the agreement setting out the detailed arrangements for the future collaboration between the contracting parties, dated 14 December 2016, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, stated: “The Joint Innovation Centre will contribute to the diversification of the Luxembourg economy. It will strengthen the national ecosystem by hosting technology businesses which have already reached a certain level of maturity, whilst helping them to develop on an international scale. The project has been brought to fruition in collaboration with Vodafone, a renowned economic player established for many years in Luxembourg, and will further reinforce the country’s visibility as a centre of innovation for ICT and telecommunications.”
On signing the agreement, Prime Minister Xavier Bettel stated: “We can clearly see from the numerous initiatives launched to nurture young, innovative businesses that the ‘start-up nation’ is taking shape. The fact that this public-private partnership between Vodafone and Technoport S.A. has come into being reaffirms the success of the Government’s ‘Digital Lëtzebuerg’ strategy, which is founded on close collaboration with players from the private sector. The Joint Innovation Centre will make it possible to develop in Luxembourg an ecosystem fostering innovation and creativity.”
Helping small companies go global
Ninian Wilson, CEO of Vodafone Procurement Co SARL, commented: “The innovation centre creates a unique platform to help small companies go global. The environment in Luxembourg is ideally suited to supporting such activities in the ICT space.” The British mobile telephony group Vodafone has been present in Luxembourg for over 15 years and currently employs over 300 people in the Grand Duchy, notably with its global procurement centre.
Technoport, which was set up in 2012 by the Luxembourg State and the Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI), a public-law banking institution, is the national incubator in Luxembourg for innovative and technology-oriented businesses. Technoport currently hosts over 30 start-ups in its infrastructures in Esch/Belval and Foetz.
Photo: © Vodafone